The White House briefing opened with Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone and National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton commenting on current administration efforts to secure the midterm elections.
"President Putin said the first issue that President Trump raised was election meddling", the national security adviser told reporters. "This includes measures to heighten the security and resilience of election systems and processes, to confront Russian and other foreign malign influence in the United States, to confront such aggression through worldwide action, and to reinforce a strong sanctions regime".
Coats added the United States continues to see "a pervasive messaging campaign by Russian Federation to try to weaken and divide the United States", in regards to the midterm elections.
All the officials agreed Russian influences are already at work to try to sway voters in November but they wouldn't say if any particular party was benefiting from that work.
The threat of election interference is "real" and continuing, he said.
'Our focus here today is simply to tell the American people we acknowledge the threat.
Coats told reporters that the intelligence community "continues to be concerned about the threats of upcoming USA elections, both the midterms and the presidential elections of 2020". "Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and it has become clear that they are the target of our adversaries, who seek.to sow discord and undermine our way of life".
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A slew of top USA officials including Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen vowed to investigate and prosecute those who were trying to sway United States opinion or carrying out what Wray described as "information warfare".
This as the White House works hard to impress upon the press distinction between the Russian Federation election tamper probe and the Manafort trial. After suffering a bipartisan outcry, Trump later said he accepted those findings.
He not only confirmed that Russia continues in attempts to meddle in USA elections, but also that this includes Russian individuals, the Kremlin, "and even add to that". "We're sharing with them actionable intelligence in a way that wasn't happening before".
Karl also pointed to President Trump's claims that the Russians would attempt to boost Democrats in the midterms and questioned if there "has been any evidence whatsoever that". John Cornyn of Texas, said, "I'm confident we're doing the best we can".
The protests began on July 16 after Trump made controversial comments he later clarified that appeared to support Russia's explanation for election meddling over the conclusion of US intelligence agencies.
When I asked how Trump could even suggest that Sessions take action, since the attorney general has recused himself, Giuliani said: "I think he's talking more generic Justice Department", and that "it would have to be Rosenstein", the deputy attorney general, to take such action.